'In a study published in the Winter 1995 issue of the journal Adolescence, researchers asked 157 ninth-grade girls about the best ways to prepare for menarche. Thirty-five percent of the girls asked adults to offer "support and reassurance" and 34 percent asked for "knowledge about menstrual hygiene." Only 17 percent called on adults to offer facts about menstrual biology. ' -- Preparing Girls for Menstruation from Children's Healthwatch, The Mayo Clinic.
At the onset of puberty, our daughters have special needs, and we have to be aware of them. They are excited, scared, and wondering about The Big Day, the day they get their period for the first time, what I have termed as Woman's Day with my teens. We need to get them ready and help them through this time in their lives.
Usually schools will talk about this in health, or with a visit from the nurse in your child's classroom, somewhere around 4th grade. Generally, this is where girls get their first contact with the word "menstruation". They will have questions, although they may be hesitant to ask them. Do your best to bring these questions out and answer them truthfully. If they ask 'How much blood?', tell them. This is not the time to shuffle by with phrases like, 'Oh, not that much, honey.' The truth is that there is more blood then if you cut yourself. Saying this may scare them a bit, but think of how scared they would be if you didn't tell them. If you stutter, it's ok. There is no script!
I also suggest a preparation gift from you. I know the schools give them pamphlets, and samples of stuff, but a gift from you will mean 100% more to them. I actually put together two gifts, one for preparing and one for Woman's Day, I have a link to what I give them below.
Prepare Yourself Too!!!
Ok, sit down, take a deep breath, and count back from 10. Your daughter is no longer a child, she is growning up, this was unavoidable since the day the doctor smacked her and said, "It's a Girl!" Just think of all the good things that can come out of this, you can start borrowing her clothes soon, LOL, ok, maybe not!
In all seriousness, there is nothing that will make you feel your age more than a growing child. Having a daughter who is starting their menstral cycle is a huge blow. Take some time to sort out your feelings. Have a good cry, and pamper yourself too.
When the Big Day arrives and your daughter walks up to you and says, "Mom, I got my period." Give her a hug, tell her you love her, and ask her if she is feeling ok, ie. does she want tylenol? Sometimes we get so caught up in the fact that this is the first time, happy that she is growing up, sad that she is no longer a child, we just plain forget that she might not be feeling very well.
Now is the time for the Woman's Day gift. This gift has two parts, one comes in a box, the other from you. I have an example for what I give in the box in a link below. The second part is your time. Let her choose what she wants to do, but make some time for her, only her, asap.